80% of operators experiencing beer delivery delays, snap poll finds

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Beer deliveries: the planned strikes are due to take place at the end of August and beginning of September (image: Getty/Jack Andersen)
Beer deliveries: the planned strikes are due to take place at the end of August and beginning of September (image: Getty/Jack Andersen)

Related tags Beer delivery Strike action Heineken

More than three quarters of operators are currently having issues with beer delivery delays, a snap poll from The Morning Advertiser has revealed.

While 8% of the 120 participants stated they weren’t having any problems, a further 13% also said they weren’t but were anticipating issues in the future.

This comes after the threat of a beer drought later this month (August) increased​ as about 1,000 draymen, who deliver brands including Heineken, voted for industrial action over a ‘paltry’ pay offer.

Union Unite said there will be two 24-hour strikes with the first starting at 10am on Tuesday 24 August and the second at 10am on Thursday 2 September.

The strikes will be accompanied by an overtime ban and work to rule, from Tuesday 24 August until Monday 15 November.

Ongoing discussions

Unite said its members, employed by GXO Logistics Drinks (formerly XPO Logistics Drinks) are based at 26 sites and responsible for about 40% of the beer deliveries to pubs and other hospitality venues across the nation.

A GXO Logistics Drinks spokesperson said the company favoured dialogue in all its negotiations and outlined its stance on the strike action.

They added: “Discussions are ongoing in order to reach agreement, in particular for the hospitality sector that is only now emerging from the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.”

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) urged pubs to consider using local brewers to fill the gaps of supply issues.

Flexibility to brew

Chief executive James Calder said: “Amid fears of taps running dry, pubs, bars and restaurants should look beyond mass-produced beers from the globals and speak to their local independent breweries. Being local they have the flexibility to brew and get beer directly into venues up and down the UK.

“British independent breweries are producing some of the best beers anywhere in the world and can be found across every corner of the UK.

“They are brewing a hugely diverse range of styles from lagers and pale ales, to porters, stouts and of course, cask real ale. As the hospitality industry fully reopens the UK’s independent brewers are ready and waiting to fill the supply gaps we’re seeing hit an already struggling hospitality industry. 

“Distinct, quality local beers could prove more popular with customers than your original offering of global beer, which are available anywhere.

“Small independent breweries have suffered massively while pubs, bars and nightclubs have been closed, so now as the UK's hospitality industry begins on its road to recovery let’s work together and offer customers a great-tasting local lager, craft ale, IPA or stout.”

Related topics Beer

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